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Portrait of Senator Gary Wilken Senator Gary Wilken
State Capitol, Room 514
Juneau, AK 99801-1182
Forwarded from FBX: 451-5501
Juneau Phone: (907) 465-3709
Fax: (907) 465-4714
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Legislature Modifies Chitina Dip Net Fishing Permit

For Immediate Release: April 20, 2000

Juneau -- The Alaska House passed a bill Thursday that lowers the cost for families to fish in the Chitina dip net fishery. Senate Bill 301, sponsored by Senator Gary Wilken, makes changes to the permit requirements, the fees, and the name of the permit required to use the fishery.

Currently a permit costs $10, for an individual or a family, and an additional $15 sport fishing license is required for each person who will be fishing. SB 301 would raise the fee for a permit to $25, but would not require that each person have a sport-fishing license.

"Because Chitina is now designated as a subsistence fishery, a sport-fishing license is no longer necessary," said Wilken. "The price for an individual would stay the same as it was under the previous guidelines, but a family of at least two people would see cost savings under the new fee structure. Last year they would have had to purchase a Chitina permit for $10 and two fishing licenses for $15 each, a total expenditure of $40. Under SB 301, they would only pay $25 for the Chitina permit."

The increase in permit fees would allow the Department of Fish and Game to provide increased and improved services for those who use the fishery. A portion of the fees will also go to the private land owners along the Chitina River, as compensation for the public access they provide across their land to the fishery.

In light of the change of Chitina to a subsistence fishery, SB 301 changes the name of the permit from "Chitina personal use salmon dip net fishing permit" to "Chitina dip net permit." Because the Fish Board changed the designation of the fishery, the term "personal use" needed to be removed from the permit title.

The House Finance Committee added a provision to the bill that requires that the Department of Fish and Game enter into a three-year agreement with the private landholders along the fishery to allow continued access, and requires that the permit fee not exceed $25 for the duration of the agreement. The provision also directs the Department to work toward finding a long-term solution through leases, land exchanges or other means to provide access to the Chitina fishery.

SB 301 returns to the Senate for concurrence on the House changes.

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